jennyrpatten

Five Tips to Maximize Your Efficiency When In-House

When someone asks what in-house practice is like, I often reply that it is like drinking from a firehose. The legal department is the starting and ending point for a lot of projects and issues, and tackling everything that hits your desk without a game plan can feel daunting. While everyone takes a different approach to managing their workload, I’ve outlined a few tips that I’ve initiated during my in-house practice that help me maximize efficiency while in the office. 1. Keep Organized. Staying on top of your various task lists, emails, meeting invites, updates and follow-ups can feel like…

read more

jennyrpatten

Problems to Solve, or Tensions to Manage?

A few days ago, I ran into a colleague that I hadn’t seen in a few weeks at our company café. As we caught up while standing in line to order our lunches, he commented on the fact that I carry two phones with me and asked why. I explained that I try to keep my personal and work communications separate, and this allows me to “put away” my work texts and emails when I’m spending time with my kids by physically placing my work phone in my purse for a few hours. I admitted that while this tactic had…

read more

jennyrpatten

You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone: Top Ten Pieces of Wisdom from In-House Mentors

As I come up on ten years of in-house practice, I’ve started to reflect on my legal practice journey up to this point.  From the time I had to hide in the restroom to make a quick call to my outside counsel for confirmation on a particular point of law, seconds before I had to walk into a board meeting, to the closing where I was so exhausted I tripped over my own feet and faceplanted into the floor in front of about 20 executives, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments.  Most memorable, though, are the lessons I’ve picked…

read more

jennyrpatten

Do Your Part: Contributing to Company Culture as Legal Counsel

Over the past couple of months, we’ve explored the importance of company culture in your in-house practice and how to identify whether a company’s culture is the right fit for you.  This month’s column wraps up my short series on culture with how in-house counsel can use your unique role within the company to promote positive aspects of your company’s culture. Think about the leadership of your company, or the company you support.  While the C-suite executives serve as the formal leaders of the company, you likely have a series of informal leadership within the company as well.  These individuals…

read more

jennyrpatten

Screening for Culture:  What to Know Before You Go (In-House)

As a continuation of my short series about in-house practice and culture, this month’s column focuses on how and why company culture is important in an in-house job search. While compensation structure, job duties, and commute may be good threshold evaluation criteria in assessing a potential opportunity, culture fit is an often-overlooked aspect of an in-house legal position that can make or break your success. I understand this may seem like a “first world” consideration.  I graduated from law school at the beginning of the recession and remember the stress and anxiety of trying to land a job that allowed…

read more

jennyrpatten

The Role Client Company Culture Plays in Your Legal Practice

Over the next few months, my column will explore the role that company culture plays in a successful legal practice.  I know…culture.  Before your eyes glaze over, though, hear me out.  An entire body of literature and best practices exist on the powerful role culture can play in business.  Here, we’ll focus on exactly what company culture can mean to you, as counsel, and how focusing on this aspect of your company or client organizations can reap great benefits for your practice. Chances are, if you are in-house, you may have come across your company’s mission, vision and values, or a quixotic set of…

read more

jennyrpatten

You Don’t Own This, So Don’t Let it Own You

I had just arrived in the office, dumped my bags at my desk, and sprinted down the hall. I had to find my boss. I needed to tell her about a call I received from a client in the middle of the night that made my heart race and jaw clench. It involved an urgent, immediate, life-altering matter that couldn’t wait until morning, and I had to give the kind of legal advice that you ruminate about for hours after you hang up the phone. I found my boss sitting at her desk and scanning through her email. I knocked…

read more

Join Us

Contribute to our blog and join the discussion.

CREATE AN ACCOUNT

Newsletter

Enter your email address to receive regular updates, news, and events.

Connect with us

Follow or subscribe